BSP improves debt monitoring

Published July 25, 2022, 3:49 PM

by Lee C. Chipongian

The Bangko Sentral ng Pilipinas (BSP) on Monday, July 25, said it has adopted a more accurate debt monitoring system and management of external debt data to improve its analysis and early warning signals.

The BSP is implementing an updated Debt Management and Financial Analysis System (DMFAS) 6 as part of mandates on external debt management. “With the recent technological developments, the BSP has completed the enhancement of its external debt monitoring and analysis by shifting to the latest version of DMFAS,” it said.

The upgrade is expected to improve and expand BSP’s operations with the use of available DMFAS data sets in generating pre-built and user-defined reports.

The data-driven BSP said it is also widening the coverage of the DMFAS database and analysis through possible integration with other external debt data sources. DMFAS will be used to record, monitor, report and analyse available debt data and it is aligned with international standards for a “rigorous set of validation checks to ensure consistency of records.”

DMFAS, a database software developed by the United Nations Conference on Trade and Development or UNCTAD, is currently adopted by 105 finance ministries, central banks, and other debt management offices in 69 countries.

It is a primary BSP database for a “comprehensive external debt statistics for operational and policy purposes.”

“The DMFAS 6 has strengthened security to ensure data integrity and confidentiality and an enhanced user experience and navigation. It also offers enhanced analytical and managerial tools for debt portfolio analysis and reporting,” said the BSP.

The BSP has said before that central banks around the world should have more focus on resolving the debt problems arising from the pandemic, with Covid extracting heavy costs on debt exposures.

The country’s total outstanding external debt as of end-March amounted to $109.75 billion, up by 13.09 percent from $97.05 billion same period in 2021. The external debt is 27.5 percent of GDP, higher than 26.6 percent of GDP in 2021.